Arlene Medder is skilled at stitching together people from across campus. From her position as an Administrative Support Associate for Auxiliary Services, to serving on the Community Services committee for the Employee Forum and acting as the Employee Forum’s liaison to the Carolina Campus Community Garden through the Advisory Committee, Arlene offers help, support and opportunities to get involved at Carolina through community service.
What is your title and your role in F&O?
I am an administrative support associate and the secretary/receptionist in Auxiliary Services, although I joke that I need a hat rack for all the hats I wear in the office: TIM administrator, parking coordinator, receptionist, etc. I am a delegate in the Employee Forum and I am on the Community Services committee, and also serve as the Employee Forum liaison to the Carolina Campus Community Garden Advisory Committee.
What is a typical day like in your job?
I check my voicemail and email for any messages that came in overnight, I check the calendar to see if any of the meeting rooms need reservation signs, and check for any new laundry tickets. Other than that, every day is different. I handle any calls or emails about vending machines on campus, do supply orders and surplus orders for our office as needed, route callers and visitors, handle simple human resources questions, etc.
What encouraged you to become involved with the Employee Forum?
My former supervisor, Tommy Gunter, encouraged me to join the Employee Forum. He had good memories of his own term of service. One of my favorite memories is getting the Kay Wijnberg Hovious Outstanding Employee Forum Delegate Award. The Forum awards three of these a year, where delegates recognize fellow delegates.
What do you enjoy most about your projects beyond your role with the Employee Forum and the Carolina Campus Community Garden?
I love knowing that I’m giving back to the community and fellow employees. What I am doing has a direct impact on the quality of life for other people. Working with CCCG means providing concrete help to fellow staff. We’re saying ‘thank you’ for your hard work.
What is something people don’t know about the Carolina Campus Community Garden?
How can they get involved? The CCCG provides food, at no cost, to lower wage employees on campus, through the volunteer efforts of staff, students, faculty and community members. And it is very close to campus, on Wilson Street, just across from the Carolina Center for Public Service. Getting involved is easy.
The work in the garden varies somewhat by season, because the garden is harvested year-round. When a volunteer shows up, they sign in and get a work assignment. Work may include turning compost, weeding, harvesting, planting, watering or infrastructure; taking down old trellises, putting up new ones, etc. And while you’re working, you get to talk to other volunteers and enjoy the beauty of the garden. The garden has three volunteer workdays a week; Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Sundays 3- 5 p.m. With supervisor permission, an employee can use Community Service Leave to work in the garden during their scheduled work hours, or groups can arrange a work session for team building: https://ncbg.unc.edu/outreach/.
What is something most people don’t know about you?
I have won a blue ribbon at the N.C. State Fair for the lace edging I made for a scarf.